Lawyer wants Napoles to testify in trial

Posted at 08/05/14 1:14 PM

MANILA - The lead counsel of alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles is mulling the idea of putting Napoles on the witness stand in the serious illegal detention case filed by pork scam whistle-blower Benhur Luy.

Atty. Bruce Rivera said he will talk to Napoles later Tuesday to convince her to take the witness stand on August 19 at the sala of Judge Elmo Alameda of Makati Regional Trial Court if her sked would allow it.

Aside from the serious illegal detention case, Napoles is also facing plunder and graft charges at the Sandiganbayan.

Rivera told the court he would present the names of the five witnesses in five days. He said the witnesses would debunk the kidnapping allegations of Luy.

He said he would have wanted Monsignor Josefino Ramirez of the Archdiocese of Manila to take the witness stand first but he is still out of the country.

Earlier, Rivera was admonished by the prosecution panel for not making it to the scheduled 9:30 a.m. hearing.

Judge Alameda had to ask the prosecution panel to return to the courtroom after Rivera arrived past 10:30 a.m. The lawyer explained he failed to get the court order.

The defense panel has listed 18 persons who will testify for Napoles.

Rivera said he would study the list if all of those listed still need to testify. He said he may delete some and may also add new names if the court would allow it.